For years, we've pointed out that the entertainment industry doesn't seem to get that many of the individuals and companies they go after for file sharing are just search engines. Just because they're vertically focused, it doesn't make them any different than Google. In fact, last year, when Norway tried to outlaw sites that simply linked to downloadable MP3s, we wondered if they had effectively outlawed Google. It seems that the folks at torrent search engine Torrentspy have picked up on this line of reasoning as well. If you remember, Torrentspy is challenging the entertainment industry, pointing out that they're just a search engine, they don't infringe and (a la the Grokster decision) they don't induce infringement either. They've now put that "just a search engine" defense directly into their court filings. Threadwatch points out that their latest filing to dismiss the case wonders why the MPAA isn't suing Google as well, since they effectively do the same thing. As the filing notes: "There is nothing alleged to distinguish defendants' website from that maintained by Google. Everything alleged about defendants' website is true about Google, and even more so, because Google outperforms the allegations in the complaint." Of course, given the way the entertainment industry reacts these days, you never know... they might just sue Google next.
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